No Filming on Public Land: You’re Under ’Terrorist Law’
2012-07-25 0:00

By Peter Walker | Guardian.co.uk

Following complaints of over-zealous security ahead of the Olympics, the Guardian attempted to film the O2 arena in south-east London from a public pavement – something completely legal. Security guards arrived almost immediately. O2 managers later confirmed it has a policy of routinely intercepting anyone who photographs or films the venue, even from public land.



Media and civil liberties groups have expressed alarm after the managers of an Olympic venue pledged to intercept and question anyone seen photographing or filming the site, even from public land, and defended security guards who wrongly tried to invoke terrorist laws to prevent footage being shot of the arena.

The stance taken by the O2 in Greenwich, south-east London, which will host this summer’s basketball, wheelchair basketball, artistic gymnastic and trampoline events, highlights wider concerns that Olympic security operations could see photographers, film crews and even members of the public harassed for entirely legal activities.

John Toner from the National Union of Journalists said he would seek an urgent meeting with managers of the O2, saying their tactics had no basis in law. "I’m stunned, and what they say is utterly outrageous," he said.

While there are strict photography rules inside Olympic venues and on many other private spaces, when standing on public land the press and public have a clear right to shoot still or moving images.

Ahead of the Games, police and the security industry have sought to train staff about this aspect of the law. There have nonetheless been a series of incidents in recent months in which photographers have been challenged while working on public land, especially in London.

As an experiment, the Guardian attempted to shoot video footage of the O2 arena from a public road on its southern edge, only a few minutes’ walk from the main entrance.

Very quickly the reporter was challenged by O2 security guards, who made a series of demands with no basis in law. They ordered that the filming stop – "We’ve requested you to not do it because we don’t like it" – and that they be shown any existing footage. Asked on what basis they could demand this, one replied: "It’s under the terrorist law. We are an Olympic venue." Another added: "You have, for want of a better word, breached our security by videoing it [the O2]."

At one point they refused to allow the reporter to leave. One said: "It’s gone too far for that."

[...]

Read the full article at: guardian.co.uk






Related Articles
Military to Avoid Embarrassing Pictures by Banning Photography
Britain bans Olympics photography
Real History Through The Eyes of a Photographer: "Liberated"
Photography Is Not A Crime
ProPublica Photographer Detained By Law Enforcement At The Behest Of BP
Society of Professional Journalists outraged over police raid of student newspaper; seizure of photographs
Photography under threat: The shooting party’s over
I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist!


Latest News from our Front Page

West’s tributes to late Saudi King reveal hypocrisy not democracy
2015-01-27 2:16
Hypocrisy is not usually regarded as a virtue of leadership, yet judging by the gushing tributes paid to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah by various Western governments and establishment figures on his death, there are those who believe it should be. In the UK this hypocrisy has been stretched to breaking point with the decision to fly the flags over Downing ...
Millions of GMO insects could be set loose in Florida Keys
2015-01-27 2:34
Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases. Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood. "This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease," said Michael Doyle, executive ...
Furguson Scared The Super - Rich So Bad They're Planning Exits
2015-01-27 0:22
According to a speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ferguson and Occupy absolutely terrified the world’s super-rich, and now they’re buying airstrips and farms in remote locations to escape to. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which was held between January 21-24, over 2,500 leaders in the fields of business, international politics, academia and journalism met to discuss ...
The Ring Of The Nibelungs
2015-01-27 0:20
Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King (also known as Ring of the Nibelungs, Die Nibelungen, Curse of the Ring, and Sword of Xanten) is a 2004 German television film directed by Uli Edel and starring Benno Fürmann, Alicia Witt, Kristanna Loken, and Max von Sydow. The film is based on the Norse mythology story Völsungasaga and the German epic poem Nibelungenlied, ...
Google Street View Shows NAACP Bombing a Hoax
2015-01-26 22:58
Caught in the act: NAACP passing off old soot marks as new in ‘bomb’ hoax NAACP Colorado Chapter President Henry D. Allen Jr. has been caught in the act of passing off old soot marks as new damage from the recent ‘explosion’ at the Colorado Springs chapter headquarters. Although Gotnews.com has previously remarked on the minimal damage as reported by the ...
More News »